Jonathan Kraft, son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined WEEI in Boston via Sportsradiointerviews to discuss the NFL lockout. Kraft was blunt in assigning blame to the players for decertifying and filing an antitrust lawsuit.
Kraft said, “I think here’s the bottom line: regardless of what any court decides or doesn’t decide, the only way we are going back to what we know is the true operations of the National Football League are for both sides to sit across the table from each other and negotiate a new agreement. We were negotiating in the first part of March under the guidance of the federal mediator and from the NFL’s perspective we thought we had put fair things on the table and we’re having rational dialogue. The players, I know there is a lot of rhetoric that flies around about this, the players were the one’s who got up from that table, walked out of the room, decertified, and filed an anti-trust lawsuit. That’s the timeline and those are the facts.”
“We were sitting there negotiating with them when they got up, if they were still negotiating why would we have locked them out. We had extended it [the deadline for the lockout] already, all you have to do if you’re having good dialogue you extend the deadline, but we were at a table and instead of negotiating they chose to get up and out of the room, decertify as a union, and file an anti-trust lawsuit.
“That’s when we executed on the lockout, but the Commissioner [Goodell] has been very clear and I think the league has said all along ‘Lets sit down and let’s negotiate.’ Because at the end of the deal it’s not going to get worked out through litigation and through a court system. It’s going to get worked out when two business parties sit across the table from each other. We didn’t start the legal proceedings. The players did and hopefully we can convince them that litigation isn’t the right path and that negotiation is. Unfortunately so far we haven’t been able to do that.”